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Clever little ideas

  1. Apr 19, 2007 #1
    Welcome to the "Clever little ideas" thread. :smile:

    This is one of the most collectively intelligent groups I have the pleasure of knowing. I'm sure that there are several clever methods you have for doing tasks, handling equipment, aplliances, cooking, cleaning, computers, etc., in your daily lives. How about sharing some of them?

    I'll start.

    When I have a greasy job to do, such as changing the oil in a car, I take some liquid soap and rub it into my hands until it is dry. Then when I finish the job, washing the liquid soap off your hands carries away most of the oil and dirt with minor trouble and much less scrubbing.
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  3. Apr 19, 2007 #2


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    The hose that supplied washer fluid to my rear window developed a hole. When I tried to wash the rear window, the washer fluid squirted onto the car sitting behind me at the intersection.

    My clever idea: I didn't fix the hole. Instant defense against tailgaters. They follow too close, I'd have my Cherokee pee on them.

    Edit: Obviously, I'm hedging my bets. If I don't win 'most intelligent', at least I still have a chance at 'laziest'.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2007
  4. Apr 19, 2007 #3
    Hehe I like that! And if you really wanted too, you could subsitute the fluids with acetone-but that's kinda cruel..(doh and flammable)

    Here's mine- when I cut onions I do so with the onion submerged in water-no more tears!
  5. Apr 19, 2007 #4


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    My wife and I keep spray bottles around filled with 50:50 rubbing alcohol and water. It's a great cleaner (especially windows, mirrors, counter-tops) and it's really cheap.
  6. Apr 19, 2007 #5


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    Make your own fossils by putting fish bones in a bucket of cement.

    Then leave them out in the garden as a fun weekend activity for children.
  7. Apr 19, 2007 #6


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    For removing cat hair from clothes, duct tape wrapped inside-out around a beer can works great.
    I have no idea if this next one works or not; I've never tried it. Someone told me decades ago that if you need to cut glass without a proper tool you can lay a string soaked in lighter fluid down on it in the pattern you want and light it. A mild tap then supposedly breaks it along the burn line.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2007
  8. Apr 19, 2007 #7
    Or ask the fire department to bring a mower with them when they come to put out the flames. :rofl:

    (Sorry Danger, couldn't resist.)

    Jeez, I read that as saying "grass!" :rofl: :yuck: :rofl: Darn, where's the moron smiley?
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2007
  9. Apr 19, 2007 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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    I learned that trick from an Amway salesman. He used this as a sales point for their general cleaning product.

    When I was a kid, my uncle bought me a season ticket for the L.A. Rams games for several years in a row. While learning to maneuver the Coliseum at which we became real pros, I learned that one can cut through any large crowd by holding up a cup of hot coffee and announcing, "Coming through, look out, hot coffee!!!". For some reason people part like the Red Sea and make room. :biggrin:
  10. Apr 19, 2007 #9
    I'm not completely sure about this one, maybe some of you physics guys can chime in on this, but my dad told me years ago that if you buy gasoline in the morning when it is cooler, you will get more volume per gallon than if you buy it later in the day when it is warmer and lower density.
  11. Apr 19, 2007 #10


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    Gasoline stored in underground tanks does not change temperature very much. As a kid, I worked part-time for a grocery store with gas pumps, and I used to go check the levels with a graduated scale and wipe down the stick with a rag between readings. That gas was always pretty cool even on hot days.
  12. Apr 19, 2007 #11


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    By the time it's gone through rubber hoses in the sunshine it's heated up and expanded quite a bit, but this is after the meter so there's not a lot of difference.
  13. Apr 19, 2007 #12
    put some vegetable oil on a rag to easily rub off peeled off sticker residue.
  14. Apr 19, 2007 #13
    I used to manage a gas station, and most meters nowadays are adjusted for this. In the past (like, 30+ years ago), this was true, but not anymore. They measure the temperature of the fuel going through them, and adjust the volume it reads accordingly.
  15. Apr 19, 2007 #14
    Yeah, it was about 30 years ago.
  16. Apr 19, 2007 #15


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    And even if theoretically true, in reality, the difference would probably be pretty imperceptible for a typical tank of gas, or else you lose it when it spills out of the tank as it expands AFTER in the vehicle (I hear that really is an issue in hot climates, but gas caps have been designed to help prevent it?).
  17. Apr 19, 2007 #16


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    If you need to cut a cake at a party and need a lot of pieces cut quickly, but neatly, dental floss soaked in water works great. You can make a perfectly straight cut the entire length of the cake.

    I save my used dental floss just for this reason. :yuck:
  18. Apr 19, 2007 #17
    Cool idea. This would be great for where I work. We have monthly birthday parties with cake. This would save cleaning a kife before and after use and cut the cake faster.

    I'll start saving used floss myself! (heh heh, more cake for me if they find out.) :biggrin:
  19. Apr 19, 2007 #18


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    The thermal expansion coefficient for gasoline is 950 x 10 -6 compared to water which is 210 x 10 -6 so although 4x that of water it still seems pretty minute when talking about a car fuel tank. http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~vawter/PhysicsNet/Topics/Thermal/ThermExpan.html [Broken]

    about 1% change for a 10 C change in temperature.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  20. Apr 19, 2007 #19


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    -- When doing pushups, pause for about 2 seconds at the top each time. This lets blood flow back into your muscles to get oxygen back in (you can feel the whoosh in your arm muscles). You'll be able to do about 50% more pushups with this trick, although it will take about 200% longer!

    -- When going on your training runs, take along a GripMaster light tension (4-button) hand exerciser. Gently work the buttons as you run, and switch hands a few times per mile. It's amazing how much easier it makes the run go. Must take your mind off the run or something.

    -- After learning about brake and throttle control at a racetrack school on my sportbike, and after reading a performance driving book about left-foot braking when driving a car with an automatic transmission, I started using both feet when driving my car. It's amazing how much you can smooth out your driving, cornering, stopping, starting, etc., if you use both controls together in the transitions. Roll off the throttle as you roll onto the brakes, and visa-versa. It's the fastest way around a racetrack, and it's the smoothest way to drive on the street. Great stuff!
  21. Apr 19, 2007 #20
    Clever little ideas:

    1. Don't waste your money on expensive binoculars. Simply stand closer to the object you wish to view.

    2. Your neighbor's car aerial, carefully folded, makes a usable coat hanger in an emergency.

    3. Save electricity by turning off all the lights in your house and walking around wearing a miner's hat.

    4. Avoid parking tickets: leave your wipers turned on when you park.

    5. Use a telephone directory as a free personal address book. Simply cross out people you don't know.

    6. Safety tip. When throwing someone a knife or other sharp instrument, always throw it blade first as they invariably tend to turn in the air.

    7. Extend the life of your carpets by rolling them up and keeping them in the garage.

    8. Thicken up runny low-fat yogurt with a spoonful of lard.

    9. If your vegetarian guests claim that tofu, Quorn and other meat substitutes tastes exactly like the real thing then serve them meat. They won't know the difference.

    10. Make shopkeepers feel as you do by meticulously inspecting bank notes against the light before accepting them.

    11. Keep the seat next to you vacant by smiling and nodding at people as they walk up the aisle.

    12. Dyslexics, deliberately misspelling words gives you a better chance of spelling them correctly.

    13. Quit smoking tip. Stick one cigarette from each new pack up a fat friend's behind, filter first, and put it back in the box. This simple step significantly reduces the temptation to have another.

    14. Put an end to exasperating seat-up/seat-down debates, pee in the sink.

    15. Bring your girlfriend to tears when you're having sex: phone her up and tell her.

    16. Deter goldfish from having sex by throwing a small bucket of cold air over any that you catch in the act.

    17. Spice up your sex life with rodeo sex: take her from behind, call her by the wrong name and time how long you can stay mounted.

    18. An empty aluminum cigar tube filled with angry wasps makes a renewable-energy vibrator.
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